Have Intense ever made a bike that wasn't targeting the hardcore mountain biker? No, we didn't think so either. And that's partly what makes the new Tazer such a significant bike.
The not-so-minor details
Absolutely striking bike.
Initial ride impressions are very positive.
Ok, it's very expensive.
Shimano SLX at this price?
It’s good to see the Tazer name back in the Intense lineup!
Though other than two wheels, this new version has practically nothing in common with its 4X racing predecessor. The Tazer is the very first eMTB from Intense, though its level of refinement would suggest otherwise. If you’ve followed the Instagram account of Intense founder Jeff Streber, you’d have been able to track this bike’s development over the past few months, as his stoke bubbled over and the #noshuttlerequired hashtag got a workout.
We’ll deal with the elephant in the room first.
At $11,990, it costs almost as much as a week in Vegas. Yes, it’s expensive, so if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it – there are plenty of other good eMTBs out there for a lot less. But Intense bikes have always been a premium offering, and there will be legions of Intense diehards who won’t quibble at the pricetag.
We’ve only had a few hours on this bike, when we grabbed it for a day recently in Derby, while we were shooting the Shimano Enduro Tour race. As such, we’ll be brining you a proper review in a few weeks time, for now these are just our initial thoughts.
What are we looking at here?
Full carbon construction, 150mm rear, 160mm front, using a version of Intense’s dual-link suspension system. The keen eyed amongst you may have noticed the mismatched wheel sizes too, with a 29″ wheel up front, and a 27.5+ out back. This pairing is reminiscent of the wheel setup found on a moto, which is a big target market for Intense (and for e-bikes generally, as moto riders realise it’s a lot easier to get their kicks on a pedal-powered bike).
The pedal assist comes from Shimano’s excellent E8000 motor, with a clever semi-integrated battery that’s tucked away in the down tube but removable without tools. Other component standouts include FOX Factory suspension and dropper post, and Shimano XT four-piston stoppers.
Geometry looks good.
The Intense Australia crew we chatted with were keen to stress the design brief for this bike was that it should handle like an Intense, i.e. bloody well. Until we get it on our home trails we won’t be able to deliver a verdict on this, but we’re pleased to see very fun looking geometry numbers, especially the short rear end with 438mm stays.
Once this particular bike has returned from the Ignition MTB Festival (where it’s available for demo) we’ll be giving it the razzing it deserves, and a full review.